With roots in Vaudeville, the Commedia dell-Arte, and beyond, improvisatory theatre has a rich tradition of political, social and artistic subversions. In this course, students will both study the history and theory of improvisation, and experiment with it in performance. We will also explore improvisation as a phenomenon in other arts, and will hear from experts about the ways improvisatory approaches nourish their practices. The centerpiece of the course will be *student participation in an Artistic Residency by the Pig Iron Theatre company*. An OBIE award-winning experimental theatre company based in Philadelphia, Pig Iron is "dedicated to the creation of new and exuberant performance works that defy easy categorization." Class participants must be available for eight evenings in early April for this aspect of the course. Students will work alongside company members, and their training and collaboration will culminate in a public performance of a devised, original performance work-in-progess, on a chosen theme.